Selecting the school that’s best for the child

COMMENTARY /// School choice



National School Choice Week begins Jan. 21 and celebrates all types of schools and education environments for children and will raise awareness about the importance of opportunity in K-12 education.

Nationwide, 32,240 different events and activities, such as open houses, school fairs and information sessions, will take place, with an estimated attendance of 6.7 million people.

National School Choice Week has been celebrated every year since 2011. Yet even with increased awareness, many families still have questions about school choice and how it can benefit them and their communities.

The first thing to know is that school choice isn’t partisan or political. It isn’t about a specific set of policy goals either. Rather, it’s about parents making personal decisions for their children.

School choice means empowering individual parents with the opportunity to search for, and find, the best education environments for their individual children, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.

Finding the right school is important because every child has unique talents, challenges and needs. School choice isn’t about finding fault with any of the schooling options available. Instead, it recognizes that while one student might thrive at a neighborhood school, another student might do better somewhere else.

Research shows that when parents actively choose schools and education environments, their kids are more likely to succeed in school and to graduate from high school, get good jobs and participate in their communities.

School choice isn’t just theoretical. Right now, more parents in California and across America are choosing education environments for their children than at any other time in history.

National School Choice Week provides parents with an opportunity to evaluate the education options available for their children.

If parents are interested in switching their child to a different school or are considering home schooling, it helps to start looking into these options in the winter.

Families in California can choose from traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, and home schooling.

Searching for a new school or considering an alternative education environment doesn’t have to be daunting. Parents can start by talking to their children and other parents, researching schools online and visiting schools in person.

A good place to start for information about specific school choice options in the Golden State, as well as listings of the local and regional events happening this year, is

National School Choice Week is a time when the country comes together around the idea that every child can succeed when they find the right school fit. This January, parents have more options and opportunities than ever before to find that right fit. For individual communities and for our country, that is a good thing.

Andrew R. Campanella serves as president of National School Choice Week, an annual celebration of opportunity in education. He lives in Northwest Florida.

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